What’s next for England and other home nations ahead of Euro 2016?
The Euro 2016 qualifiers are now in the home stretch and all of the home nations are still firmly in the mix to qualify for the finals in France.
Here is how we think England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland will fare in their next qualifiers:
San Marino v England – Rooney
Roy Hodgson has already upset San Marino by joking that some of England’s successful Ashes cricket team could have been selected for the Group E encounter, having watched them have a friendly kick about in their spare time.
This may be doing the minnows a disservice, but while England have a perfect record through six games, San Marino have not even managed to score.
All eyes will be on Wayne Rooney, as a hat-trick will see him overhaul Bobby Charlton’s as England’s all-time top scorer.
England have scored at least five in all of their five career meetings with San Marino and Rooney has netted four in his three appearances, including at least one in each.
It is 33/20 that England successfully overcome a five-goal handicap, which is something that no visitor to San Marino has achieved in the group so far.
Cyprus v Wales
This pair have met four times previously and each have been won by the team playing at home, which isn’t the best statistic for Wales’ hopes of not only remaining unbeaten in Group B, but keeping hold of top spot from Belgium.
Wales won the reverse fixture 2-1 last October, but they did have to play virtually the entire second half with 10 men following the sending off of Andy King.
Joe Allen is unavailable through suspension, although Gareth Bale is in the squad despite concerns over an injured toe.
Wales are the 8/11 favourites to triumph, although the 13/5 available on Cyprus in the draw no bet market looks a fair price.
Faroe Islands v Northern Ireland
It may not be no great surprise that England and Wales occupy top-two positions in their respective groups, which will guarantee qualification to Euro 2016, but seeing Northern Ireland hot on the heels of Romania in Group F was not so expected.
Despite playing at three World Cups, an appearance at a European Championship still awaits Northern Ireland and they have never previously been beaten by the Faroe Islands, winning the last two without conceding.
Finland and Hungary have already prevailed away to the Faroes too.
Northern Ireland are 11/20 to take maximum points, with 9/4 perhaps the better bet that they win by a single-goal margin.
Georgia v Scotland
The only home nation currently not in the automatic qualification positions is Scotland, but they are beating the Republic of Ireland to third spot in the Group D at present behind Poland and Germany.
The highest point-scoring third-placed team across all of the groups automatically qualifies, with the remainder entering a play-off round.
Georgia’s only positive result in the group thus far is a win over point-less Gibraltar, although the Scots only beat them 1-0 at Ibrox in the reverse fixture and that was an own goal.
Scotland are winless on the road in the group, but have collected encouraging draws in Poland and Ireland. It is 2/1 that they share the points again and 20/21 they beat Georgia.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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